A remedy for the boredom that is grown-up dining
Claim to fame: A Guadalajara transplant reinventing seafood and fire-licked dishes
Reason to go: The Pacific coastline’s best ingredients
To look out for: An epic dulce de leche volcano with banana ice cream and roasted almonds, it’s the menu’s sole dessert
Do stiff dinners with hushed conversations make you nervous? Do they remind you of when grandma chided you for not sitting up straight at the table? We feel you. Here to put an end to pompous dining: La Docena, a restaurant that properly understands the need for people to eat good stuff in a more cheerful environment. Perpetually packed, its success can also be attributed to the exceptional ingredients that pass through its kitchen and the briny-bright seafood on iced display in the bar. And while the atmosphere here encourages boisterous conversations and rollicking celebrations, La Docena is just as good for a quick bite on a mellow Tuesday when you’ve got a hankering for mollusks.
Chef Tomás Bermúdez and his partners explore coastal ingredients, plucked from Ensenada to San Blas; seductive Kumamoto oysters and Pismo clams, toro-and bottarga-topped oysters, and a cornucopia of other aquatic options. They also know how to cook a Durango state wagyu txuletón––simply charcoal-grilled with just a pinch of salt to reinforce all those umami-meaty flavors. Bermúdez spent time mastering the fine art of asado grilling in Argentina, he also worked with Basque star chef Martin Berasategui and Le Chateaubriand’s Iñaki Aizpitarte. Actually, Aizpitarte has declared himself a big fan of La Docena and visits Bermúdez every time he’s in Mexico.
La Docena is one of the city’s most successful restaurants, allowing Bermudéz and his team to continue mining innovative techniques and methods of letting the ingredients express themselves in the best possible ways. Bring grandma, she might not admit it, but she’ll enjoy the laid-back vibe and the Oysters Rockefeller.